Musical Theatre

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Musical Theatre

“There’s a kid in the middle of nowhere who’s sitting there living for Tony performances. Singing and flipping along with the Pippins, and Wickeds, and Kinkys, Matildas, and Mormons’s. So we might reassure that kid, and do something to spur that kid, ‘cause I promise you, all of us up here tonight, we were that kid.”  Neil Patrick Harris

 Anyone who knows me, knows that I love theatre. My mother is to blame for this. Now I prefer plays but I used to love musicals. We weren’t in a position to buy tickets to Broadway shows when I was very young so we listened to the albums and watched them on TV.  I knew all the words to the songs before I ever saw the shows.

The first musical that I saw when I was twelve years old  was The Fantasticks. I sat in the the theatre for two hours entirely mesmerized by the story. it is the impossible unfolding before your eyes propelled by the energy of a live audience. You cannot help but appreciate all the work and love that goes into that one performance.

   My all time favorite musicals and only some of the ones that I can sing the cast albums of are Gypsy, Guys And Dolls, West Side Story, The Fantasticks, Fiddler On The Roof , King And I, Pajama Game, Singing In The Rain, Annie Get Your Gun, Funny Girl, Damn Yankees, Bye Bye Birdie, Man Of La Mancha,  Sweet Charity, Cabaret, A  Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Hair,  Jacques Brel…, Godspell, PIPPIN, Chorus Line, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, EVITA, CATS, LES MIZ, Miss Saigon, Ragtime, Rent, Lion King,  Book Of Mormon and In The Heights. I have  favorites  that I don’t know all the words to ever song such as  Zoot Suit, Jelly’s Last Jam, Spring Awakenings, Contact, Noise Funk,  Come From Away, Putnam County Spelling Bee, Next To Normal,  Something’s Rotten, Fun Home, Hamilton and Evan Hansen.

I know I will never be Gwen Verdon or Lea Salonga or even one of the Schuyler Sisters. But there is nothing like a song you can sing full belt and in my case off-key in the shower and pretend to be one of the many great Broadway divas.

The very premise of  musical theatre defies all reality.  It attempts to imitate life (as theatre tends to do) and then suddenly, a character bursts out in song.and everyone on the street knows the words.  Secretly, I  have always clung to the hope that I will someday be able to break into song at the market, department store, a parent-teacher conference,  a restaurant or during a mammogram and everyone will know the words. (enjoy Lin Manuel Miranda)

Fly safe,

JAZ

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Election the Musical

Election The Musical

“This is the dangerous thing about musicals. Most of them assume that as soon as you find your voice, you’ll use it to sing to someone else.”  David Levithan

While I was watching the theatrics of both the RNC and the DNC, I found myself thinking of all the Broadway shows I had seen as a kid. It was not unlike the theaters I have sat in for most of my life – the set design, choreography, music, smoke machines, mood and stage lighting, costumes (the heroine wore white), speeches that should have been cut a bit in previews, videos, the grand showstopping finale and of course the critics.

It is months of planning, staging and rehearsal to communicate the message of the parties at the conventions.  In my head, while watching I began putting in the show tunes. Hamilton is too cool for this group, though I did hear it mentioned.  I was thinking more old school show tunes. I wish I could have done this for you but you will have to use your imagination.

Donald Trump was easy. I pictured him as Phineas Taylor Barnum in the musical Barnum singing There is Sucker Born Every Minute. (Cy Coleman, Michael Stewart)


Hillary was a bit harder. I didn’t see her as a leading lady. She was more like the smart or funny best friend. She was Chita Rivera – playing the best friend of Charity Hope Valentine, in Sweet Charity (Cy Coleman, Dorothy Fields).


Ted Cruz was another simple one. I didn’t know any Evangelical musicals so I had to settle for Hello from Book of Mormon (Robert Lopez,Trey Parker, Matt Stone). I think it works especially in this video from the Tony Awards.

Bernie Sanders is probably not a singer. What about the Bernie supporters as the orphans in Annie (Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin) singing It’s A Hard Knock Life?

Bill Cllinton will be perfect as Conrad Birdie performing Honestly Sincere (Charles Strouse and Lee Adams) from Bye Bye Birdie.

I have a few for the Trump offspring but I decided to go with Heart (Richard Adler and Jerry Ross) from Damn Yankees.  It will be a better show that way.


The finale for the Republican National Convention instead of Queen could be Razzle Dazzle from Chicago. (John Kander, Fred Ebb) I prefer the Fosse musical for this one.

I like Lauren Bacall’s Welcome To The Theatre from the musical Applause (Lee Adams, Charles Strouse) for HIllary’s nomination at the DNC.

What’s a voter to do? I feel a bit like I’m listening to Guys and Dolls (Frank Loesser), Fugue For Tinhorns.

Thanks for reading. That is the fun thing about blogging and the internet. You can share any random thought that comes into your head with total strangers. I never really had any use before for the fact that I know the words to every musical I’ve seen as a kid.

Fly safe,

JAZ